I just heard a woman on your program with two sons with Aspergers syndrome. My finance and I are 28 and he has Aspergers. His IQ is genius level and he is a wonderful person who always knows the right thing to do. He can figure out what people's motivations are, he has incredible perspective and has a memory like an elephant. I heard a lot of my fiancé in this woman's description of her boys. When he was a teenager he drank, smoked pot, did meth and basically almost died. His problems and a lot of Aspergers problems are emotional. He hated himself and still has image issues. He thinks he is hideously ugly - which he is not and I'm not just saying that because I love him. We have had problems with his laziness and lack of motivation.
I know this woman on your program has been dealing with and fighting to get her boys to live up to the potential she knows they have. But I don't know if she has stopped to think of the intense emotional pain her boys are in and that is probably why they are going the drug route. They don't have the brain wiring to cope with normal emotions because of their mental illness and therefore don't know any other way to cope - because of our society's love for instant gratification. What you advised her was the only thing she can do - but I would urge her to try to take another perspective than they are lazy and she didn't raise them that way etc. My fiancé had a wonderful family life: mom and dad still married- dad even still is working hard to help his son get on track. It's not her, it's the illness. It's heartbreaking for those who love people with Aspergers because you will never get a normal level of reciprocal emotions. I know he loves me and I've worked hard to come to peace with accepting his limitations. This woman's boys may never live up to their potential but it doesn't mean they won't mature. She just has to wait out this heart wrenching phase - and I feel for her and everyone who loves someone with Aspergers.